A 12-year-old Georgia girl with no pre-existing conditions is on a ventilator and “fighting for her life” in an Atlanta children’s hospital after she contracted coronavirus.
The girl, identified only as Emma by her cousin Justin Anthony, was diagnosed with pneumonia on Sunday, March 15th and tested positive for coronavirus on Friday (Mar. 20).
As of Saturday, Emma had been placed on a ventilator and was in stable condition, Anthony told CNN.
Anthony said Emma had no pre-existing conditions and hasn’t traveled recently, so her family isn’t sure how she contracted the virus.
He shared on Facebook:
“For those of you that think that kids can’t get Covid-19… Think Again!!! My 12 year old cousin just got diagnosed with Corona […] 2 days ago she started coughing blood and her lungs got worse and she had a transfusion. They then had to put a central line to her heart.”
Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta-Scottish Rite Hospital confirmed that they were treating a patient who tested positive for COVID-19, but declined to go into details.
“The patient remains in isolation, and we have consistently used appropriate precautions. Additional details will not be released due to patient privacy laws,” said hospital spokeswoman Jessica Pope.
While it’s possible for anyone of any age to contract coronavirus, medical experts have said that older people and those with underlying health conditions are at a greater risk of falling seriously ill from the virus.
Children, even babies, can contract the virus and spread it, however, their symptoms are generally milder.
Anthony told CNN that Emma’s mother gave him permission to tell her story to the media to spread the word that young people are also in harm’s way when it comes to this deadly virus.
“I know first hand how dangerous it is,” he said. “Everyone keeps saying ‘it doesn’t impact younger people.’ But here’s a 12-year-old fighting for her life. People need to practice social distancing. People need to take care of their children. People need to take this seriously.”